Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Percheron Pals" - oil on linen panel, 10x8

"Percheron Pals", oil on linen panel, 10x8
"Colour Commentary", watercolour, 1995
It was many years ago that I painted these two characters in watercolour.  The title of the painting was "Colour Commentary",  (appx. 30x22 inches).  I've included a photo of that watercolour (above) along with my recent oil painting of the same pair, "Percheron Pals", oil on linen, 10x8.
I painted the original watercolour in 1995 during a time that I was showing my work in the Calgary Stampede Art Salon. 
In the past year my work came full circle, in a sense, while creating a body of work that is very reflective of my rural roots. It's been a wonderful reconnection; first with my affinity to my prairie roots but more importantly, a continued connection to my father, a true horseman whose gentle presence guides me as I retrace my journey.
While I've been painting almost exclusively from life in recent years, the old box containing my reference photos has been gathering dust in a studio cupboard.  Seeing them again is like seeing old friends; a reminder of a very pleasant time in my life.
I clearly recall the day I took this photo and remember these two old mates like it was yesterday.  I spent the day with artist Adeline Halvorson at a working horse pull event.  Adeline is, undisputedly, one of the finest equine artists working today. When I see these big beautiful horses, I am pretty much reminded of the day we spent in rural Alberta.  
As you can see, I was more of a "colourist" when painting in watercolour.  As an oil painter, I consider myself to be a "tonalist", but I am still strongly inspired by these same stately creatures.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


"Lindsay", oil on linen panel, 16x12
My painting of sweet "Lindsay" which took 3 hours or so.  My good friend, artist Ingrid Christensen , suggested I do one of these quick studies every day for 10 days!  She claims to be "mean", but really she's full of good advice.  Plus it is fun and excellent practice.   I definitely plan to put this into my weekly schedule.  I hope to take this painting a bit further, too.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Caitlin - Demo", 16x12, oil on linen on panel
In preparation for my upcoming 2-hour-demo at Swinton's Art Supply & Instruction this Friday evening, I thought I'd better put in some practice time. 
Here is my sketch of "Caitlin", done from a photo. 
Caitlin is one of my daughter's sweetest and dearest friends and is as lovely on the inside as she is to look at.  A few years ago she modelled for me in my studio on a weekly basis. 
Not being an alla prima painter, and never too speedy (hey, what's the rush?), my aim in doing this painting was to get the paint on and get it on quickly. 
My second goal was to quit after 2 hours, my allotted time. 
Since I work directly, without a drawing, I have to confess it was hard to quit after 2 hours and very little fine-tuning. But I did manage to stop after 3. Well, ok. Maybe 3 1/2.
Normally I would take this painting to further completion, get more paint on and, of course, fine-tune the drawing as I do so - but I will enjoy it just the way it is.  
This study of Caitlin serves as a really nice reminder of  mornings in my studio, shared with a lovely young woman.
I hope to see you all out at the demo!